Far Horizon's History

Founded by a Maya archaeologist in 1982, Far Horizons specializes in upscale, educational tours throughout the world. For the first decade, our trips tended to highlight the archaeology of the Maya World, but as the years have passed our destinations have expanded to include most of the world.

People often ask what separates Far Horizons from other tour companies.  With 40 years in the travel business and extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations, we are able to provide our clients with unparalleled individual attention, starting with the first phone call or email until you return home, a happy and enriched traveler. The yachts and other vessels we charter offer exclusivity and luxury, and we never combine our groups with other organizations. Traveling with a maximum of only 14 participants allows us to stay in elegant stylish hotels and dine on creative cuisine in distinctive restaurants that do not cater to tour groups. For your enjoyment, you can spread out in the buses we use, relish large rooms even if you are a single, and savor close-up attention from our study leaders who are with you from the first day of the tour until the last – 24/7. We are proud that our learning vacations offer a rich educational experience, the camaraderie with fellow travelers who share similar interests, and of course, a healthy dose of fun.

As a tour company that benefits from the cultural and historic riches of our destinations, we are aware that funding for science is an ongoing challenge. From the first Far Horizons trip in 1983 we have had a policy of donating to archaeological and other scientific projects. Upon registering for a tour, our clients are asked to write a separate check to a specific project that we designate (normally a 501 (c) 3 that is tax deductible) and we also include other contributions within the cost of the tour. This has created a bond with the academic community that has allowed us to organize private entrée events that are specially arranged only for Far Horizons’ groups.

The adventure, education, conviviality of like minded travelers and a new understanding of the world’s cultures, both past and present, have given us an 85% return rate of intellectually curious travelers who return to explore with Far Horizons again and again.

‘It is a joy following Far Horizons on Facebook! I want to go on all of the trips!!! I am a huge fan of Far Horizons and everyone working there. You have a very special gift in bringing the world to those who want to travel. Your fan, Alberta’ – (Alberta Chulick and her family take a trip a year with Far Horizons) 

Our Mission

Far Horizons specializes in upscale, educational tours throughout the world, each led by a renowned scholar who reveals the secrets and solves the mysteries of the sites we explore. Our small groups experience a wide range of journeys to countries where the boundaries of archaeological and historical knowledge are being tested and pushed ever outward.

We believe that to truly understand an area of the world, it is important not to be just an “observer” of another culture; we must be as much of a participant within that culture as is possible within the confines of the trip. We must explore how the people live today, the challenges they face, their traditions, their goals and their political environment. We limit the size of Far Horizons’ groups to enable participants, wherever possible, to dine in celebrated restaurants and spend overnights in small, bed and breakfast-type accommodations that depict the ambience of the country. Frequently these establishments are housed in charming, restored historic buildings. During a Far Horizons trip, we dine on the local delicacies, drink traditional beverages, learn a bit of the languages, and travel to areas rarely visited by tourists. Our study leaders and local guides are chosen for their expertise in a given area and for their congeniality as traveling companions. This is a vacation after all!

A Message From CEO

To our dear travelers,

When we learned that the founder of Far Horizons, Mary Dell Lucas, had begun a search for the next owners of the company she had built over the last 40 years, we were intrigued to say the least. My husband was just finishing his PhD in Archaeology, and together we were operating a food & history tour company, AND we love to travel; we knew we could not pass on the opportunity to be considered.  

Over the next few months, as we learned more about the company, the itineraries, the missions, and the values created by Mary Dell, we became intrigued…and enamored. In building our own tour company, Blue Fern Travel, we committed ourselves to supporting the local community by presenting the evolution of Washington DC neighborhoods on our history-infused food tours. We pay full price for our tastings at locally owned restaurants, tip our servers at least 20%, and donate a portion of each ticket sale to our charity partner, Bread for the City, which provides a range of services for DC residents in need.

The stars seemed to align.

Mary Dell built Far Horizons not only as an international travel company focused of archaeology and culture; she made certain to curate the itineraries to best support the local economy, and include a philanthropic element by requiring each traveler to donate to a specific site or project. This resonates with us and we are honored to take the helm at lead Far Horizons through the next 40 years.

It is our mission to continue this great legacy with which we have been entrusted. We will continue to offer these carefully and thoughtfully planned trips. We will curate new itineraries designed to educate, inspire, and support the places we explore. We will evolve and grow as we move through the decades to come but we will stay true to the roots that ground us. We will offer the hands on and personalized assistance that our guests have come to appreciate.

Mary Dell Lucas said it well “Our contacts who work in each country open doors for our groups, and help make each of our unique trips a very special and memorable experience. As our frequent travelers know, our itineraries proudly reflect this winning combination as well as being led by a PhD specialist who reveals the secrets and solves the mysteries of the countries we explore. Be sure and read about the renowned (and frequently legendary) scholars who lead our trips here. Our years of experience, proven logistical capabilities, outstanding scholars, and exceptional familiarity of the most remote areas and cultures make Far Horizons the ideal travel company to assist you in your journey.”

Thank you for welcoming us, trusting us, and traveling with us.

Cheers to the next 40 years!

Mary Collins & Stefan Woehlke

Meet Our Team

Stefan Woehlke

Chief Curation Officer

Heather Stoeckley

Director of Operations

Catharine Pear

Director of Communications

Scott Gilbert

Destination Manager

Judy Hoffman

Destination Assistant

Let's get to know each other!

We are at your disposal from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm